HoloRuminant has the following objectives:

Characterize ruminant-associated microbiomes

  • Consolidate and derive novel knowledge from existing ruminant microbiome data.
  • Pioneer and advance functional information on the eukaryotic microbiomes, viruses and yet uncultured bacteria and archaea.
  • Understand the functional capacity of microbiomes by combining multi-level information for microbes, hosts and their interaction (use of (meta)genomics, (meta)transcriptomics, (meta)proteomics, and metabolomics), a concept otherwise known as “holo-omics”.
  • Establish the relationships (or lack of) between microbiomes across multiple body sites of the same individual.

Define microbiome establishment and maintenance

  • Define establishment of the holobiont through the transfer of microbes from the dam (vertical) and farm environment (horizontal) and within the microbiomes at different body sites of the same individual.
  • Characterize microbiome roles during challenging life periods such as perinatal, weaning, and following exposure to pathogens.

Evaluate the effect of ruminant microbiomes on animal production, health and welfare

  • Establish the nature of interconnection dependencies that exist between the microbiomes and critical phenotypes for sustainable ruminant production.
  • Identify novel microbial markers for monitoring and predicting phenotypes of interest.
  • Integrate microbial markers and host genetics into statistical models for identifying phenotypic variance.
  • Identify management and feeding practices related with beneficial microbiomes associated with health and KPIs.

Facilitate the adoption by end-users of the proposed innovations

  • Consider stakeholders’ needs, expectations and the levers and brakes for adoption of novel practices.
  • Evaluate the potential acceptability and socio-economic impact of the innovations proposed in the project.
  • Interact with influencer stakeholders for knowledge transfer.